Hunter New England Local Health District (HNEH) is continuing to urge the community to get vaccinated and tested for COVID-19, with 61 new cases diagnosed to 8pm last night, Thursday, October 21 and fragments of the virus detected in local sewage in Guyra, Moree, Quirindi, Old Bar and Harrington.
There are no known cases in those areas, HNEH public health physician, David Durrheim said: "The community should remain vigilant and get tested with even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath."
The new cases bring the total number in the district to 2491 since August 5.
Of the new cases:
- Seventeen are from Newcastle LGA, 10 are from Lake Macquarie LGA, nine are from Mid Coast LGA, seven are from Cessnock LGA, six are from Maitland LGA, four are from Port Stephens LGA, four are from Tamworth LGA, three are from Singleton LGA and one is from Dungog LGA.
- Twenty two cases were in isolation for their entire infectious period, 29 were infectious in the community, and 10 are still under investigation.
- Thirty three cases are linked to known exposures or clusters, 18 are unlinked, and the source of 10 cases are under investigation.
Walk-in vaccination clinics available across the district this week
"We continue to urge people to come forward for vaccination (providing they are not cases, contacts of cases, are not isolating, and do not have symptoms)," Dr Durrheim said.
Bookings can be made via the Commonwealth Government's COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder and there are also a number of walk-in clinics available. Children aged 15 years and younger must be accompanied by a parent/guardian aged over 18 years.
Those attending a vaccination clinic are asked to wear a mask, bring their Medicare card and ID (driver's licence, student ID).
New casual contact venues have been confirmed. The latest exposure sites are published on the NSW Government website.
EMF Kotara, Westfield Shopping Centre, Kotara
- Wednesday 13 October from 10am to 11.05am
- Thursday 14 October from 9.10am to 10.15am
Dr Durrheim said NSW Health alerts close contacts of all confirmed cases and directs them to be tested and self-isolate for 14 days from last contact, regardless of the result.
"Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, is urged to immediately get tested," he said.
"Even people with mild symptoms, such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, headache, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose, should arrange testing as quickly as possible.
"We encourage anyone who is currently isolating in the community with COVID-19, to call for an ambulance should they experience a deterioration in their condition, including breathlessness and dizziness."
All testing sites can be located via www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/clinics.